Kevin Anderson a great ambassador of our country, says Sports Minister Xasa

Lynette Rowe
July 13, 2018

The victor between Kevin Anderson and John Isner will go second on the Open era list for most attempts before reaching the Wimbledon final behind Marin Cilic, who set the record previous year after reaching the final on his 11th Wimbledon appearance. Not just an experience, but a challenge that I've set for myself. Isner also won their only meeting on grass, at Queen's Club in 2008.

The final set there were some unbelievable points.

There was, however, one consolation for Del Potro who came off second best despite belting down 33 aces and producing 77 staggering winners, 10 more than Nadal.

Del Potro trailed 1-3 but at 5-5 he fired down an ace to reach match point number five and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argentine who roared his approval, happy to conserve energy before taking on Nadal. Having reached the US Open final a year ago, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department.

While Nadal's rivalry with Roger Federer may be considered as the most engaging, it is the Spaniard's rivalry with Djokovic which is the most enduring.

It was a great moment to finish a match Andy Murray in commentary called the best of the tournament so far.

Djokovic leads 26-25 so far but the bare statistics tell only half the tale, as to exactly why the emotions will be bubbling.

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Add in Nadal, 32, and Djokovic, 31, and it's the first time in the half-century of professional tennis that all four male semifinalists at any Slam are in their 30s. "He is one of the more complex players that I've ever seen in our sport".

How did Nadal recover ahead of the semifinal against Novak Djokovic?

"I have done a lot of things well since I came back from injury".

He showed signs of recovering at the French Open before a shock loss in the quarter-finals against unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato, then reached the Queen's final where more mental fragility proved his undoing against Marin Cilic.

Even with the final set going with serve and into double figures, Anderson kept his cool and claimed victory with a 13-11 score-line. I tried to resist, maintaining focus. You would hardly know that he had never been past the third round at Wimbledon in nine tries.

"Emotional match for both of us", said Nadal, who is ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 2 and won two of his 17 major championships at Wimbledon.

None of his opening four opponents were ranked inside the world top 50, meaning he faced a huge jump in class against world number four Juan Martin del Potro in Wednesday's semi-final.

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